Wireless access is available in all academic and administrative buildings and most outdoor spaces at WMU. Multiple wireless connection types are available including secure, open, and guest options. Wireless is also available in the public areas and individual rooms of residence halls and in Stadium Drive and Western View apartments. Wireless will be available in Goldsworth Valley apartments at a later date.
WMU's wireless network is uniquely different from WMU's conventional wired network and should be not considered as a like-for-like alternative. WMU's wireless network is not intended to replace wired connections. Wireless is intended to facilitate short-duration connections to the network from convenient locations without being inhibited by cabling or the need to find a physical data jack. For information regarding wired connections, please see on-campus connections.
A single wireless access point cannot be expected to provide sustained and reliable service for large amounts of traffic. Typically an access point can reasonably support around 20 users with a non-sustained traffic profile, e.g. opening typical web pages, reading email, etc. Actual speed that an individual will experience while using the internet depends upon a variety of conditions such as the number of concurrent users connected to the same access point, types of applications being run, internet traffic, nearby RF interference sources and many other variables which are beyond the control of WMU. Performance of wireless in a particular area will decrease dramatically as the number of users increases or if those users maintain sustained flows of traffic for a period of time, for example transferring large files or web pages with large images, or streaming audio or video content. If 20 people are taking a test on a web page, response time may be adequate. If one person begins streaming video or downloading a large file at the same time, everyone's response time will be reduced.
WMU's wireless network is a shared medium. Depending on usage levels and other nearby equipment, a wireless connection may be slow or occasionally even drop. It is not always possible to mitigate problems by the installation of additional access points. If you truly need a dependable consistent internet connection then you should use WMU's conventional wired network.
Wireless connections are also less secure than wired connections. If you choose to use a wireless connection, you should be cautious about what sort of information you transmit. For example, you should not enter any personal (login name and password, credit card or other) information unless the URL of the website you visit begins with https as your information could otherwise be accessed by someone else. Sensitive information should only be transmitted if the information is encrypted during transmission. Using WMU's VPN or WMU Secure wireless will encrypt connections from your device to the access point. Encryption, which scrambles the information you send into a code so it is not accessible to others, beyond that point is then up to your device or the device (website) you are connecting to. If you need assistance in determining if a site you are connecting to is encrypted or not, please contact the Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1 or email to email@example.com.
Special events involving a large number of people who need simultaneous wireless access in the same location should be scheduled well in advance by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org to determine if sufficient network connectivity exists to support the event and the activity. It may be necessary to move the location of the event/activity, upgrade the network at the event location, or change the number of people or connectivity requirements of the event.